Swiss drug giant Roche has come under pressure on several sides in recent years, but generally for the right reasons. Its pharmaceutical business remains very strong, with numerous new products ready for market, comparatively few facing imminent patent expiry and underlying profits at record levels. It is arguably the industry's most consistently admired company, with nine $1bn-plus blockbusters in 2016, more than any rival company. In the past, this has occasionally led to Roche being regarded as a takeover target, not least by Swiss rival Novartis which built up a shareholding of around 33% in the 2000s, against Roche's wishes. In order to focus more directly on its core business of drugs and diagnostics, Roche cut loose its consumer healthcare portfolio to Bayer in 2004. The group is a leader in in vitro diagnostics, as well as cancer and transplantation drugs. It is also a leader in biotech development, with multiple products already on the market, and more to follow from the pipeline. In addition to the main Roche business, the group operates through two important regional subsidiaries: Genentech in the US and Chugai Pharmaceuticals of Japan.
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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Jan 2018: Swiss pharma giant Roche announced the acquisition of US developer Ignyta for $1.7bn. The smaller company is working on several new cancer treatments, a sector in which Roche is a long-time leader. However, sales of Roche's lead product Herceptin are coming under pressure from biosimilars or generic copies.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Mar 2016: Interbrand confirmed Pfizer as the world's most valuable pharmaceutical brand in the branding agency's first ever specialised ranking of drug companies. Interbrand posited a valuation of just under $20bn for Pfizer, a wide lead over second-placed Roche of Switzerland at $15.5bn. Neck and neck at $13.9bn were Merck & Co and Johnson & Johnson's drug division Janssen. Novartis rounded out the top five ahead of Amgen and fast-growing Gilead, all between $13.4bn and $13.5bn. Novo Nordisk took 8th place, leaving British duo AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline to complete the top ten. Download the full report here.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Aug 2014: The M&A fever within the pharmaceutical sector showed no sign of dissipating. Swiss group Roche agreed to acquire US biotech developer InterMune for $8.3bn, to gain access to that company's new Esbriet product, a breakthrough treatment for a rare and hard-to-treat lung disease. Roche is also said to be in talks to acquire the 39% of equity it doesn't already own in Japanese subsidiary Chugai Pharmaceuticals.
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